Hazardous Substances

News & Analysis as of

Emerging Trends in Tort Litigation Alleging Health Injuries Caused by Neighboring Oil and Gas Activities

Last year's $2.9 million verdict in Parr v. Aruba Petroleum, the so-called "first fracking trial," garnered attention in Texas and beyond. The significance laid not only in that the plaintiffs had succeeded on their private...more

You Really Need to be Keeping Up With Developments With the NFPA Combustible Dust Standards

My friend and outstanding combustible dust (and more) expert Tim Myers of Exponent shared the following: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is set to publish the first edition of NFPA 652 Standard on...more

Major Pipeline Safety Rulemakings Coming in 2015

Authorization of the federal pipeline safety programs will expire on September 30th of this year. With this looming deadline, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is scrambling to finish the 42...more

EPA Issues Final Amendments to Cement Kiln NESHAP

Effective July 27, 2015, EPA amended key components of the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for new and existing portland cement kilns. The changes, in part, were necessary to comply with a...more

Supreme Court Tells EPA Cost Does Matter

The Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) placed national limits on mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. The agency projected MATS to prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700...more

FRA Issues New Hazmat Train Securement Rule and Sunsets Emergency Order 28

The Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") has issued new train securement rules for trains left unattended on a mainline, siding, or rail yard carrying 20 or more crude or ethanol cars or trains carrying poison by...more

RMP and General Duty Clause Enforcement Continues at EPA Region 1

As we reported last year, the U.S. EPA has stepped up its enforcement activity under the risk management provisions of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), Section 112(r), focusing on both the Risk Management Plan (“RMP”) program rules...more

Ninth Circuit Interprets CAFA Exception Narrowly, Facilitating Removal in Environmental Tort Cases

Creating a Circuit split, the Ninth Circuit held that a tort case against a Washington corporation did not fall under the so-called “local event” exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) and, therefore, had been...more

A little good news: OSHA Grants Some Reprieve For Compliance with Its New Construction Industry Confined Space Rules

On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued a final rule setting new standards for workers in confined spaces on construction sites. The new rule requires coordination for multiple employers at the worksite, a competent person to evaluate...more

Canada Begins Mandatory Survey with Respect to Certain Nanomaterials in Canadian Commerce

The July 25, 2015, Canada Gazette includes a notice announcing that the Minister of the Environment requires, for the purpose of assessing whether the substances described in the notice are toxic or are capable of becoming...more

HCS: OSHA Issues Inspection Procedures for Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012)

On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued OSHA Directive Number CPL 02-02-079. The Directive is intended to establish "policies and procedures to ensure...more

OSHA Directive on Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard

OSHA has just announced a compliance Directive on “Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard,” CPL 02-02-079 (July 9, 2015)....more

OSHA Enforcement Memo and Interim Policy on the Process Safety Management Retail Exemption

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued yesterday an enforcement memo (Memo) and an interim policy (Policy) on the PSM retail exemption. Tho Memo revised OSHA’s interpretation of the exemption of retail...more

Airplane cabin cleaners often exposed to dangerous substances

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, more than 85,000 flights take off and land in America every day. Commercial airplanes often fly multiple times per day, carrying many loads of passengers. Like hotel rooms,...more

Major Expansion of EPA Rules for Underground Storage Tanks

On July 15, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule significantly expanding its program for underground storage tank (UST) systems that store petroleum or hazardous substances....more

Supreme Court: EPA Must Consider Costs in Power Plant Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Michigan v. EPA, reversing a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and holding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must consider...more

New York Finalizes Updates to Regulation of Hazardous Air Pollutants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recently finalized amendments to several regulations primarily concerning hazardous air pollutants. NYSDEC repealed and replaced 6 NYCRR Part 212, Process...more

Fish & Wildlife Service Issues Notice of Intent to Regulate Incidental Take of Migratory Birds

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) published a notice of its intent to evaluate potential ways to regulate incidental takes of migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”). The Notice...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Approval of Oil Spill Response Plans is Non-Discretionary

On June 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (Bureau) approval of oil spill response plans (OSRPs) relating to oil leases in the Beaufort and...more

China Proposes “RoHS 2” Framework for Comment

On May 15, 2015, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) released a latest Draft for Comments (“May 2015 Draft”) of the “Management Methods for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Review of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 Considered in Markup by the House Energy and Commerce Committee

The House Energy and Commerce Committee convened a markup session on June 2 and 3, 2015, to consider a slightly revised version of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 as H.R. 2576. As reported in our June 3, 2015, memorandum,...more

In Case of Emergency: Handling HazMat Violations

An unexpected fine for a hazardous materials violation can jolt a company. Even companies with robust systems for managing hazardous materials compliance can be surprised with a penalty due to the actions of a single employee...more

Protecting Your Chemical Trade Secrets vs. OSHA Compliance: What You Must Disclose and What You Can Keep Confidential

Scenario: You are a chemical manufacturer and have created a chemical formulation that you intend to keep secret, to keep others from copying your product. The new formulation is hazardous and therefore must be handled with...more

Reed Smith’s “Crude by Rail” Series - DOT Publishes Amended Regulations for Rail Transport

As part of a 19-month initiative to improve the safety of hazardous rail traffic, on Friday, May 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) published new regulations and standards for the bulk transport of Class 3...more

DOT Tank Car Rule Reflects Refined Cost-Benefit Analysis

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation, acting through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, issued a much-anticipated final rule on the enhanced tank car standards and operational...more

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